Method 245.1

Determination of Mercury in Water by Cold Vapor Absorption Spectrometry

This method is for the determination of total mercury (organic and inorganic) in drinking, surface, ground, sea, brackish waters, and in domestic and industrial wastes.  An aliquot of sample is transferred to a BOD bottle or other suitable closed container and digested using a diluted permanganate-potassium solution and oxidized for two hours.  The sample is then analyzed using cold vapor atomic absorption (CVAA).

The range of the method is 0.2-10 ug/L and can be extended above of below this range by increasing or decreasing the sample size.  

Sulfide, chloride, copper, tellurium, organic compounds which have broad band UV (ultraviolet) absorbance around 253.7 nm and volatile materials (chlorine) which absorb at 253.7 nm are known interferences.

Do not filter samples for total mercury.

(EPA: Office of Water)


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Method Data

Hold Times, Preservatives, Preps, Collection, Analytical & Documentation
Holding Time:   28 days from sample collection to analysis
Preservatives:   Preserve with nitric acid to a pH <2 at the time of collection.
Required Preps:   250 mL HDPE or glass bottle
Collection Method:   Grab sampling
Analytical Methodology:   CVAA
Documentation:   245.1

Analyte List*

Analyte Formula CAS Number Detection Limit

* The analytes and detection limits listed for each method represent the typical detection limits and analytes reported for that particular method. Keep in mind that analyte lists may vary from laboratory to laboratory. Detection limits may also vary from lab to lab and are dependent upon the sample size, matrix, and any interferences that may be present in the sample.